Thursday, December 08, 2005

I get press releases, Vol. 24: [Fun with] news from the PR industry [maybe]

In the current climate of 24-hour news cycles and abrasive talk programming, the PR industry likes to send out news releases that "stir things up". Every day, the 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters gets press releases from the Republican and Democratic national committees, poking fun at some "outrageous" statement a member of the opposing party made, or raising the specter of the dire circumstances that will come to pass if the other party's legislative agenda is allowed to move forward.

Generally, these news releases come with an especially forceful headline, like "Democrats Will Make This Country Weaker", or "Arizona Republicans Come Under Fire For Tainted Money" (and sometimes, "Andreas Vollenweider PRESS RELEASE CORRECTION").

Sometimes these news releases make the newspapers in the "Political Notebook" column. Sometimes they get shouted about on MSNBC or Fox News shouting shows. And sometimes, they make it to this space. Particularly if they're as simultaneously forceful and wishy-washy as this entry from Arizona's Clean Elections Institute, whose headline, "Time for Smith to be Removed" doesn't quite do the message of the release justice:
The Clean Elections Institute believes the time has come for Rep. David Burnell Smith to be forcibly removed from office, if necessary.
In other words, he definitely should be removed from office, provided he has to be removed from office.

But at least the CEI is making a complete statement, which is more than you can say for the Republican National Committee, which apparently objected to the following television appearance by Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean:
Dean: "[Our Troops] Don't Belong [In Iraq]." (CNN's "American Morning," 12/8/05)
Though in all fairness, it should be pointed out that White House Spokesman Scott McClellan's press briefing yesterday included the following statement:
"[The lesser flying phalangers] are the smallest [marsupials in the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas]."
And President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous speech to the Democratic National Convention in 1936 features this plea:
"[I have] new problems [with ring-around-the-collar -- problems that require the development of a new laundry detergent]."
But none of this, of course, would be possible without the U.S. Constitution, which makes clear in the First Amendment:
"[Press releases are the key exercise of] the freedom of speech [that will someday allow bloggers to fill 400 words over their lunch hour]."

1 comment:

Carol Davidson said...

[19 Minutes is one of ] the [best blogs out there].
--Abby Taylor, 12/9/2005